The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Recorded for a radio broadcast, this live set features the original Allman Brothers Band line-up of Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Dickey Betts and Jai Johanny Johanson. That line-up would soon change as about two months after this show Duane Allman would die in a motorcycle accident; Berry Oakley's death would follow about a year later, sad facts that make this recording all the more of a precious keepsake from the band's early career. The two actual brothers in the Allman Brothers Band shine on opener "Statesboro Blues," a Blind Willie McTell cut where Duane plays sweet and bluesy slide guitar while Gregg sings with the velvety soul that serves him well to this day, as a solo artist. The classic Allman Brothers two-guitars-playing-the-same-notes highlights a cover of Muddy Waters' "Trouble No More" as Duane and Betts synch their axes; Duane is ready to romp again on slide for "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'," one of only a few cuts here that were penned by band members. One of the other band originals is Betts' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," a lengthy jam that was played at most Allman Brothers shows while Betts was a member of the band. The Allmans have always been known for their musicianship and it is on full display here. There isn't much stage patter but Duane does speak of his fondness for the late King Curtis before the band plays a medley of "You Don't Love Me" and Curtis' "Soul Serenade." Other cuts included are "Done Somebody Wrong," "Stormy Monday" and show closer "Hot 'lanta." With the curtain having officially come down on the Allman Brothers Band, at least as a touring unit, there will likely be lots more archival material on the way. Hopefully it'll all be as good as this recording.

The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

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